A Sleep Over in a Monastery- The People
Anywhere that I have travelled in the world it has always been the people that leave a lasting impression and are the icing on the cake of the whole experience. In this regard Asia has blown me away with the kindness, welcome and warm hearts of the people. Myanmar being top of that list.
Just five minutes walk from the monastery there was a shop where you could buy soft drinks and snacks. It was basically a tiny wooden shack. We pottered over there to get stocked up on bottles of water for the following days hike. The young lady that ran this shop was gorgeous in every way and her baby who was tightly wrapped like a bright chubby caterpillar in a cocoon and secured to her back was the cutest thing I’ve seen in ages!
We also met lots of children who I suspect had recently come out from school and were burning off extra energy running around and play fighting. One little boy thought it would impress his friends if he pretended to attack us the intruders with his sword which was interesting, thankfully we all survived and later he became my friend over a drawing.
There were lots of baby monks (I like to call them that) who are sent to the monastery by their families to ensure they get a roof over their head good food and an education. It is kind of like boarding school I suppose and seems to serve a very important role in life here. It seems to instill an excellent set of values and work ethic into the boys who were delightful to hang out with. Many of them will leave when they are adults and train for another career but the stability and discipline of this simple way of living seems to be a good start in life. I loved that they had not lost any personality of cheekiness through being there as you can see from the above photo!
As with everywhere I go I settle down to draw. I’d chosen a simple wooden barn like building as I was tired and the day was drawing to a close. My activity seemed to spark the interest of my new friends and one by one they beckoned each other over to see what I was doing. I tried to get them to draw something in my book but they all shyed away from my offers of a pen. They then started trying to encourage me to draw a different building which happened to be the most complicated one of all of them! I took up the challenge and they were all transfixed while I drew, such a lovely experience. (Incidentally the boy in the white teeshirt and green sarong was the sword wielder from earlier.)
When I had finished the drawing just before they were called away to do their chores we attempted a selfie! 🙂